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As temperatures rise, toxic algae blooms paint Florida coast red

An elongated hurricane season and rising minimum ocean temperatures are making this red tide season extra-long

Reported by news writer at Salon

Florida’s Gulf Coast - For the past 14 months, various sections of Florida’s Gulf Coast have been at the mercy of a toxic red tide, caused by an abnormal concentration of a microscopic algae called Karenia brevis. The economic and environmental effects of a red tide are always devastating, and alarmingly, climate change may mean Florida's future consists of longer and more frequent red tides.

The ecological havoc so far includes the death of dolphins, sea turtles, fish, manatees, and a whale shark. Meanwhile, humans in proximity to the red tide — those living in coastal towns, for instance — have higher risks of respiratory issues. Red tides can cause economic ruin, too: Stone crab season in Florida is severely suffering, all because of the toxic algae that has worked its way up the coast from Sanibel Island to Tampa Bay.

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